Bacteria strengthen concrete while helping to prevent damage from road salts!
Microbe of the episode
Microbe of the episode: Azospirillum brasilense
Using bacteria to protect roads from deicer deterioration
Winter is a bad time for concrete outside. Water seeps into cracks and freezes, causing bigger cracks that widen into potholes. Even the road salts used to keep water from freezing can react with compounds in the cement to break down the structure of the concrete.
This study looks to bacteria for a solution for protecting concrete from these reactions. Sporosarcina pasteurii, given the right nutrients, can take the harmful salt compounds and turn them into minerals that strengthen the concrete instead of weakening it.
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